Guericke Pleads Guilty; Faces Max Of 2 Year Sentence

KELOLAND Investigates has an update on the State of South Dakota vs. Dan Guericke case.

Guericke pleaded guilty to one count of falsification of evidence. All of the other five counts he was facing have been dismissed in a plea deal. 

The maximum sentence is two years in prison and will face a maximum of a $2,000 fine. The sentencing will occur later. 

Guericke, the former director of Mid Central Educational Cooperative has been accused of altering contracts to avoid an audit into how GEAR UP money was spent. He previously plead not guilty to fraud and conspiracy. 

The charges relating to GEAR UP consultant employment contracts being created after the audit was underway were dropped. Those were Rick Melmer and Keith Moore’s employment contracts. The lack of keeping track of their efforts was called into question by Government Operations and Audit Committee in 2015.

A trial for Guericke and Stacy Phelps had been scheduled in Minnehaha County, with jury selection set to begin on October 3. Jury selection in the Phelps trial is still scheduled to begin next week.  

As part of his plea deal, Guericke has agreed to cooperate with the state in current and future investigations on GEAR UP, which means he will likely testify against Phelps in his trial next week

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